Sometimes, all you want is an IPA


San Diego's Alpine Beer Company is revered for its hop-forward West Coast IPAs, including Pure Hoppiness, Duet and Hoppy Birthday. Its latest year-round offering, Windows Up, takes a slightly different, but no less delicious, tack.

It's not a game-changer by any means: It's an aromatic IPA laced with Mosaic and Citra, two of the most popular hops in America. But where Windows Up succeeds is in the alchemy of the flavors: An initial wave of pineapple and mango is followed by grapefruit and a resiny dankness, finishing dry with just enough spicy, piney bitterness. It's all bound together by a sweet, caramel-like malt.

Beer writers and judges talk about balanced beers, and this one, to me, seems especially well-made: The competing flavors of tropical fruit and resin are woven together, yin and yang, into one package, with an underlying current of malt that keeps you from noticing the 7 percent alcohol by volume.

When I've been talking to friends and co-workers about Windows Up, the word that comes up most often is "solid." It's not a juicy IPA. It's not a dank hop bomb. It manages to find balance between the two, in a very enjoyable way.

- - -

Alpine Beer Company Windows Up IPA. alpinebeerco.com. $13-$14 for a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles.

If you like this, you should try:

Cigar City Jai Alai: A bright orange/tangerine flavor leads into rich malt and resiny bitterness.

Firestone Walker Union Jack: One of the great West Coast IPAs, with plenty of citrus over a malt backbone.

Triple Crossing Falcon Smash: The Richmond brewery's flagship IPA marries bright orange and citrus to a dank body.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food & Dining

Chocolate-coffee ice cream and cake squares put good things together
Chocolate-coffee ice cream and cake squares put good things together

Cake and ice cream make a good couple. They balance each other out. One’s churned cold, the other’s baked hot. One’s creamy, the other crumbles. One loves cold weather, the other resents it. Blistering marital bliss. Ice cream insists on arctic temperatures; show it a cupboard or countertop, and it goes all drippy. Give cake a shelf...
Macaroni and cheese for grown-ups
Macaroni and cheese for grown-ups

When it comes to macaroni and cheese, it’s time to think outside the box. You know the box we mean. It’s bright, shiny blue. And the macaroni and cheese that comes out of it is bright, shiny orange. The boxed stuff is fine for kids. It’s fast and cheap, and they can’t tell the difference. But for adults, it’s time to do...
Make a sweet breakfast with these potato pancakes
Make a sweet breakfast with these potato pancakes

Americans aren’t the only people who love potatoes for breakfast. Hashbrowns are on the menu at just about every diner in the country, but in Switzerland, you’ll find an equally beloved potato dish called rosti, which is more like a potato pancake and is now on brunch menus around the world, including Bonhomie in Austin. Irish chef Donal...
Exploring the sweet subtleties of vinegar
Exploring the sweet subtleties of vinegar

When Edward Lee was growing up in Brooklyn, his grandmother fermented traditional Korean foods at home to stock the pantry, making her own gochujang and doenjang, along with several kinds of kimchi and rice vinegars. Lee now makes his own vinegars at 610 Magnolia, his restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, using whole raw persimmons, peaches and fennel...
Instant Pot recipe: Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
Instant Pot recipe: Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

Excerpted from “The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook” by Coco Morante ($19.95, Ten Speed Press) Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake With an almond cookie crust and a light, lemony filling, this cheesecake is an update on an Italian classic. Serve it as is, or with a dollop of lemon curd and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar for a more decadent...
More Stories